What would be the implications if you woke up tomorrow and there was no News? No morning paper, no top-of-the-hour news on NPR, no CNN behind the bar at lunch, no evening news while you make dinner, and no news wrap-up for background noise while you get ready for bed.
What would the world be like? Would it be better, worse, or just different?
Your first reaction might be “but then how would I know what was going on in the world?”, but ... why do you need to know what is going on in the world? Can you, personally, do something about the War On Terror, or the earthquake in Peru, or the domestic dispute a few streets over? If you could actually do something, would you be getting your information from the TV or the paper, or through your job or some other more reliable means? Either way, does the News help you? Does it do anything more than make you feel like you make a difference when the truth is that you really don't?
How does it impact your life, personally, whether or not Don Imus gets back into radio?
You might start to worry about oversight. If the public isn't made aware that Big Bad Companies are doing Big Bad Things, which can surely only happen via the News, then they would just get away with it, right? Sorry, were you on the legal team prosecuting Enron? My bad.
Does watching the News do anything other than stoke your righteous indignation?
What if you decided to take a week off from the News? You could recycle your paper for a week. You could turn on the Discovery Channel while you get ready for work. You could ignore the CNN blaring during lunch and actually have meaningful discourse with your coworkers. On the ride home from work you could listen to music instead of NPR. And again at night, if you had to have the TV on, you could turn on G4 or a Knight Rider rerun or something. How would your life be affected?
It might mean that you miss out hearing about whom some random Asian country is beheading today. It might give you a little less to talk about around the water cooler -- but that might actually be a blessing in disguise, as you might feel like you got a bit more done than usual.
You'd just have to trust that the really important things would get to you eventually. If a gas tanker explodes on a freeway and shuts down traffic, it's not like you'll be allowed to obliviously drive through the pool of burning fuel, right?